Eidos pressuring reviewers to delay negative reviews?

By Justin Mann on November 21, 2008, 2:47 PM
When purchasing a game, how often do reviews and scores given by specialized websites factor into it? Eidos believes people put a lot of weight into that, so much that they are seeking to bar negative reviews appearing for their games before release with the purpose of achieving a higher score on Metacritic. What started out as a Twitter update, with a journalist claiming that Eidos asked him to withhold his review if it was negative, has turned into Eidos outright confirming that they don't want negative reviews coming out.

This certainly isn't the first time Eidos has been seen doing this. Earlier this year, the company was assumed to have pressured GameSpot into firing one of their executive editors by threatening to pull ad deals. This was in response to a negative review that GameSpot posted, which was retroactively edited afterward. Both companies denied the two events being related, however.

In this instance, a PR company for Eidos has outright admitted that they are trying to coerce sites into not posting negative reviews, at least not until after the game is actually released. They do not state that they would prevent reviewers from getting advance copies of the game, nor that they would be under obligation to pull a review if it was negative. Still, the implication here is pretty severe. Should a game developer or publisher even be involved in the review process at all?




User Comments: 7

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captain828 said:
i don't get what the fuss is all about? they just don't want negative reviews until the game is releasedperhaps they will address some technical issues with a pre-release patch? or the game they shipped to reviewers isn't the final version?now if something like the GameSpot - K&L Dead Men would happen again... that wouldn't be pretty
viperpfl said:
Companies have always tried to manipulate the review process. No company likes a bad review, whether it's about a product that the company is selling or about the company themselves.Let's face it, a bunch of bad reviews can make or break a company. As we seen over the past month or so, game companies have been trying to manipulate the review process. A perfect example is the game company Electronic Arts. People were posting bad reviews on Amazon about Electronic Arts game Cyris because EA was using restrictive DRM. Electronic Arts got Amazon to remove bad reviews from there site. In my opinion a company that tries to manipulate the review process don't care about there customers. The company gives a false impression about the products they sell. Just imagine every bad product having a good review. They care more about the money than worrying about if a customer likes there product. With more restrictive DRM, the review process is more imperative to have.
ricardini said:
Negativity is a tool for looking into the one making the statement. Also it is a good indicator for self inventory.I would not buy from a company that can't take negative reviews as this shows a lack of confidence This usually comes from the guilt of knowing about some hidden problem.I remember when GTA VC had bad reviews on television and it multiplied their sales.
Xempler said:
Doesn't matter if the game is a beta release or demo or whatever. Companies can't manipulate the review process or else consumers will no longer have faith in what they read. This is why I rarely believe any review I read in a gaming website...I rather read what the actual consumers are saying in the forums.
igal_alkon said:
give me a break! they don't want negative reviews? well start making good games. it's not reviewer fault they release crappy titles. i would like to read true reviews. and after the gamespot case, i will never read it's reviews again.
yukka said:
They should not be doing this and if they like bad press then they should keep going.
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